Songs of redemption

Currently circulating Facebook, a BuzzFeed article with the top-10 creepiest Easter Bunny pictures has had me thinking about traditions. A picture with the Easter Bunny is a common one for many families but thankfully wasn’t a thing with my parents.

I was scared enough as it is to sit on Santa’s lap growing up. I wouldn’t have made it a second round in the springtime. So, in spite of my fear, my family had its own traditions that revolved around fun, food, music, and Jesus.

My cousins, aunts, uncles, and whoever else claimed to be family would go over to my grandparents’ house for a giant Easter egg hunt. Afterwards, we would eat a large brunch and then go to the Easter service at church.

Every year I noticed the same thing. Church attendance increased significantly. It is the only time, other than Christmas, that I see nearly every seat full.

Why? Where were all of these people the rest of the year? Why were holidays so significant?

It didn’t register for me that holidays were many people’s only exposure to faith.

You see, I was raised in a home of the Christian faith. My loving parents encouraged me to always ask questions and seek out my own answers but taught me what they believed to be true too.

What they believed to be true was the teachings of Jesus Christ. Most people only recognize him on those two days of the year. My family did so every day.

For those unfamiliar with the story of Jesus Christ, he was born to save mankind from their sins and reconnect them with God. In the beginning, we were created for a perfect relationship. Somewhere early in mankind’s story we managed to mess all of that up and completely destroy the connection.

Something damaging came and continues to remain between our relationships. We see it everywhere through the dysfunction of our world.

But the best part isn’t just his life, but what follows right after his death. He rose from the dead. This is what most people celebrate on Easter.

I experienced this myself when I went off to a private university in California four years ago and experimented with substance abuse. While I had a code of conduct to follow, I fell in with a crowd of dealers in Orange County. Needless to say, two years later I had gone off the deep end, and I was asked to leave the school.

I felt shame, disgust, failure, and bitterness.

Shortly after, I became extremely involved with music scene in Seattle. It was amazing to be a part of. What I allowed to become of it wasn’t. Sleeping around, new age spirituality, substance abuse, and underage drinking were only a few of my issues.

My life continued to spiral out of control until I woke up one morning in a hotel room with a stranger. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I felt completely empty, seeking, searching, begging, and desperate. I was done.

This is when my life took a turn in the complete opposite direction. I found hope in Jesus Christ. I realized all the feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, and shame were lies. My broken relationship was mended.

Some celebrate the symbolism of Easter. Others celebrate the commercialism of Easter. I celebrate the literal resurrection of my soul.

So, here is a list of some killer Easter songs (no pun intended) that explore brokenness and redemption.

Joseph, Motopony, Panic! At the Disco, and a few that follow introduce the worst in each of us, tallying up our wrongs. The playlist shifts in tone with Switchfoot, Hillsong United, Mumford & Sons, and Katy Perry begging for mercy and change.

Sufjan Stevens, Citizens, Page CXVI, and Sleeping Giant close out the playlist with covers of classic hymns declaring joy and giving praise for redemption.

Whether you’re spiritual or not, this list has a little bit of something for everyone.


“Tally Marks” – Joseph

“Seer” – Motopony

“I Write Sins Not Tragedies” – Panic! At The Disco

“Felix Culpa” – Kings Kaleidoscope

“From This Valley” – The Civil Wars

“For Emma” – Bon Iver

“Love Alone is Worth The Fight” – Switchfoot

“Mercy Mercy” –Hillsong United

“Awake My Soul” – Mumford & Sons

“All The Poor And Powerless” – All Sons & Daughters

“Unconditionally” – Katy Perry

“Pride (In The Name of Love)” – U2

“She Lit a Fire“— Lord Huron

“My Dear” – Bethel Music

“Promise” – Ben Howard

“Deathbed” – Relient K

“Amazing Grace” – Sufjan Stevens

“Nothing But The Blood” – Citizens

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” – Page CXVI

“He Will Reign” – Sleeping Giant